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PUBLISHER: Container News (

India’s rice exporters have cancelled their February export contracts fearing high demurrage charges owing to a shortage of freight trains. Cargoes are stuck at producing centres because there is a scarcity of freight trains required to carry the shipments to the ports. There are no bookings for fresh cargoes due to zero clarity on the future availability of freight trains.

According to rice export dealers, shipments of more than 5 million tons of non-basmati rice are stuck in the Indian state of Chattisgarh due to a shortage of freight trains and need to be transported to ports on India’s east coast. This number is a part of the 1.5 million tons of rice that India had originally planned to export in the month of January.

Speaking with Container News, Container xChange founder and CEO, Christian Roeloffs said, “There will be a long-term equilibrium of supply and demand that will be achieved by the end of this year. Freight rates are bound to fall to a new normal, much higher than pre-pandemic rates. The industry players are fighting back with their much-evolved revival strategies, and everyone is working for survival. However, in the short term, prices will fluctuate because of global disruptions that are bound to have an impact on the Indian supply chain.”

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